Survey: CEOs Fear an Obama Presidency

This is a rush transcript from "America's Election HQ," October 21, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARTHA MACCALLUM, HOST: Well, arguing against Barack Obama's tax plan, Florida Senator Mel Martinez compares it to communist Cuba saying, quote, "Where I come from, where I was raised, they tried wealth redistribution, and we don't need that here. That's called socialism, communism — not Americanism."

Joining me is Edward Kopko. He's the chairman and CEO of Chief Executive Magazine, the publication that put out these latest polls.

Ed, good to see you tonight. Welcome.


Video: Watch Martha's interview with Edward Kopko

MACCALLUM: Hi, there. I'm fine.

You know, talk to me a little bit about what Mel Martinez had to say. You know, and obviously, CEOs, you know, always like the government to basically keep out of their business, but tell me why you think that the CEOs that you're polling — and we're going to pull up some numbers — are against the Barack Obama economic plan and presidency?

KOPKO: Well, it starts with that they basically are looking to run their companies as effectively as possible. And with that, what comes down is that they're looking to have — it's easier for them to be able to introduce new products into the marketplace. So, less red tape and so forth. They're also looking to be able to keep more of their profits so that they can invest back in their business and more jobs and more growth for themselves.

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So, when they look at the totality of how the policies are aligned between Barack Obama and John McCain, they overwhelmingly come down and say — John McCain's policies are more supportive of creating a growing economy.


KOPKO: . and an economy that creates jobs.

MACCALLUM: But, you know what, Ed? You know, I don't have to tell you, you just look at the poll numbers and you can see that that is not what's resonating with voters, at least, at this moment. I listened to Barack Obama today saying, you know, the rich people, the CEOs, you know, they've already have their sort of day in the sun, and now it's time for us to help you.

So, in an economic level, explain why you think that it doesn't work that way.

KOPKO: Well, it doesn't work that way in a very, very simple way. I mean, at the end of the day, the private businesses create jobs in America. Of the 140 million jobs that we have, over 120 million of them are private enterprises, versus 20 million of them being created by the government.

So, the people who are creating the jobs, the businessmen, the CEOs, the presidents, who are looking to create more jobs or looking for more growth in their businesses and they have a particular prescription, as they say, if you want to make it easier and make a better environment to create jobs, and growth, these are the jobs that need to be done. So, I think that what happens is, too many times we listen to the political people.


KOPKO: . and actually believe that they create the jobs.

MACCALLUM: All right. Thank you very much, Ed Kopko.

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